There’s days few and very, very far in between that April can just relax. School, job jumping, journalism and tutoring for extra cash does her in most weeks. And on the weeks it doesn’t, she’s usually kicking ass with her brothers.
Not many people can say that and so April counts herself very, very lucky for that. To not just have one sense of family but yet another, gifted to her in the strangest way, like a really…really weirdly wrapped present.
Because April finds it easy most days to feel tragically misplaced and un-special; being surrounded by her extraordinary family helps with that and doesn’t simultaneously.
The love- it’s so evident and alive between them, flowing freely in just about every hole and pocket of space in their incredibly secret home. April really can’t help but feel big because of it.
Still there’s things that scare her- about what her brothers can do.
There’s nights she’s not so big, not so sure and her confidence not so concrete and wild as theirs. A miss in a jump, an ambush at the wrong time, shitty people with shitty ideas about mutants.
That….it gets to April, sometimes. Not for very long or not very often. But it does. And it’s frightening as hell.
And during those ‘sometimes but not very often or very long’s, April finds solace an old rat, hot soup and some really corny reruns.
“Don’t you ever get worried?” April asks, staring a bit blankly at the television, the tape still in rewind, stirring her spoon tentatively.
And Splinter doesn’t speak to it for several seconds after, but April knows he’s heard her, by the thoughtful hum in his chest.
“Yes…” he says, almost final, though after a few beats his ears flatten, and he smiles.
Splints has a habit of giving himself away, and April bets on everything she’s got that there’s a shitton more to him than he lets the guys see. Like fear.
“There are many times-” Splinter sorta chuckles, slurping his soup, “- many times where I think, as the hours pass, ‘are they hurt?’ or ‘do they need me?’. Sometimes I hope that they do. Every father hopes their sons still need them…”
April gets that, kinda. Her dad’s said a million times how he can’t- couldn’t- live without her. But somehow this feels incredibly different than that.
(its just them, some part of april’s mind says, just them, thats all they got)
“But I am not good with….words,“ Splinter continues, “My….well, they fail me, often. Especially with Purple. I am more worried of that. Of losing them that way. Than anything else.”
He sighs a smile. The tape clicks into place, but neither of them are really watching.
Shit. April….wasn’t expecting that. For there to be so much layering under it all. It makes her fears seem small, and something breaks a little in April for Pops.
She might just be conveying that unspokenly, actually, with the way Splinter glances at her, like he’s almost regretting sharing that much; April doesn’t want him too. God, she doesn’t want him to feel regret over feeling.
She begins to wonder if he’s ever given himself time to grieve.
April decides she’s got two dads- which admittedly is pretty dope- when she’s in the middle of her first real debate meet and looks up to the little rafters and sees a tail and a familiar smile and wink.
Eventually he’s throwing on clothes and sitting in the front row because Splinter’s bold as fuck and he cheers obnoxiously loud (boos when her opponent speaks, too, which april can’t endorse but takes it as it is and with gratitude).
Nobody really second guesses The Whole Situation, so shopping trips also become a Thing, and the little talks in between April thinks she wouldn’t trade ‘em for anything.
Blunt honesty and all.
“You have bad taste in women,” Splinter tells her, licking the sprinkles from his ice cream.
And April sighs, cheeks in her hand as she watches Taylor from an opposite bench.
“Lou Jitsu would never.”
“Lou Jitsu is an old man, so I hope to god not,” April mumbles back, still embarrassingly and exhaustingly enamored.
She has bad tastes in girls occasionally, at the moment. But, April decides, shoving Splinter’s smug face away, in family, she does not.